High knees give you the benefit of sprinting without the space requirements. They’re simple to do, just sprint on the spot, driving your knees and your hands upwards alternatively.
Another great warm up method for your whole body. Whilst keeping light on your feet, rapidly punch your arms forward, shifting your weight around from foot to foot as you do so. This is meant to get you warm, so don’t worry too much about the perfect technique for the knock out!
Flutter kicks are a simple way to give your hip flexors, lower abs and quads a workout. 1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or on a bench. 2. Lift both feet an inch or two in the air. 3. Tense your lower abs to raise one leg. 4. Alternate between raising each leg, lowering them to 1-2 inches above the ground. A flutter kick with both legs counts as one rep.
1. Hold yourself in a high plank position, squeezing your core. 2. Raise your knee towards your elbows without changing your hip height or spine position, bringing your leg forward with it. 3. Fire your leg back into its original position. This is one rep. 4. Repeat rapidly with the other leg.
1. From a high plank position, tense your core and jump your legs apart as shown. 2. Repeat the reverse of this motion bringing your feet back together again, tensing your core. This is one rep.
Forward Lunge With Twist
Twisting with your lunges is a great way to hit your obliques, giving your great leg workout an added abs component making these a great belly fat reducer. 1. Placing your hands at the side of your head, lunge down in a standard forward lunge. 2. As you lunge, also engage your obliques to turn your torso to one side. Squeezing them for 2-3 seconds at the bottom of your lunge. This is one rep. 3. Repeat on the other side.
The tuck jump is a simple way to add some dynamic moves to your workout. 1. Place both feet slightly further than shoulder width apart. 2. Bend your knees slightly. 3. Explode upwards, pushing through your heels and swinging your arms to jump into the air. 4. Whilst airborne raise your knees up to your chest before returning them to below you to land. This is one rep.
High Plank Walk
This one can be a killer! This slowly cranks up the stress on your abs and is more difficult to hold than a standard plank, making it a great belly fat reducer. 1. Get into a high plank position. 2. Slowly walk your hands forward, one at a time. 3. Get your hands as far forward as you can without losing your neutral back position. 4. Hold for 2-3 seconds before walking you hands slowly back to the high plank position. This is one rep.
Plank Reach Through
1. Get into a push up position, with your hands on the floor below your shoulders, and your feet spaced slightly apart. Keep your spine in a neutral position. 2. Reach one arm out in front of you, tensing your core for stability. 3. Slowly tense your core and reach your arm under you, raising your hips at the same time as you tense your core. 4. Touch your opposite knee with your hand. 5. Return your arm to its initial position. This is one rep. Repeat on the other side.
Swimmers are a great way to work your whole body whilst giving your lower back a workout. 1. Lie on your stomach and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, raising both legs off the ground. 2. Reach forwards with your arms, keeping your palms facing downwards a few inches above the ground. 3. Lift your alternate arm and leg up into the air, squeezing all of the muscles from your shoulders down to your glutes. This is one rep. 4. Repeat with the other arm rapidly.
The split squat is a great exercise in the brazilian butt lift workout! It’s a tough one that builds serious booty. 1. Place the ball of one foot on a stable, elevated platform behind you. Put your weight mainly on your front leg that is in front of the platform. When you perform the squat your knee should be directly over your foot at your lowest point. This determines for far in front of the platform your foot should be. 2. Bend the knee of your front leg and lower yourself down into a single leg squat. Keep your core tight. Lower yourself until your knee is directly above your foot and your other knee is an inch or two above the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds. 3. Squeeze your glutes, raising yourself back up to the starting position. This is one rep. 4. Repeat for the other leg. Careful! Make sure to get the exercise right:
2. High Donkey Kicks
Try this variation of the donkey kick to increase the difficulty, add resistance for your glutes and work your shoulders. 1. Start on your hands and the balls of your feet, with your legs stretched out behind you and your back slightly rounded. Have your hands directly below your shoulders. 2. Squeeze your glute, kicking one leg backwards towards the sky with your leg straight, squeezing at the top for 2-3 seconds. 3. At the same time, push with your hands to push your body back with your leg. 4. Slowly return the leg until you’re on the balls of both feet, and pull your arms until your shoulders are over your hands again. This is one rep. 1. Repeat for the other leg.
Deadlifts are another keystone exercise that you really should master. They’re also the exercise in which you’ll likely lift the most weight, so they’re fun! 1. Place a barbell in front of you, and stand behind it with your shins touching the bar, with your feet hip width apart. Keep facing directly in front of you for the entire movement. 2. Lower yourself down, grabbing the bar just wider than your feet. Either have your palms facing backwards, or have one forwards and one backwards. This reverse grip helps prevent the bar from rolling, which may be an issue as you lift heavier weights. 3. Whilst holding the bar, squeeze your shoulder blade together and tighten your core. It is essential that you keep your spine in a straight, neutral position. Do not bend it when performing a deadlift. The deadlift is quite a straightforward movement, the difficulty comes in because you can easily injure your lower back if you’re not careful. 4. Squeeze your legs and power up through your heels. Raise the barbell against your shins, keeping it close to your centre. 5. As the bar raises to the level of your knees, move them back to continue lifting the bar up to your thighs. Squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement, but not leaning backwards (this is bar form). 6. Slowly lower the bar back down again, pushing your knees forwards as the bar passes lower than them. This is one rep.
Variation: Romanian Deadlift
The romanian deadlift is the variation we use for this brazilian butt lift workout. It is a great variation on the standard deadlift to really work your hamstrings and hit your lower glutes. Perform it in the same way as a standard deadlift, but don’t bend your knees. As you lean forwards, you will feel a stretch hamstring. As this builds, squeeze your hamstrings to bring your torso back upwards. As with standard deadlifts, be extra careful to do them slowly and carefully. Do not arch or curve your back, you will instantly regret it.
4. Dumbbell Step Ups
Step ups are a great easy way to strengthen your quads and glutes, making them a great addition to our brazilian butt lift workout. 1. Find an elevated platform, bench or chair. Place one foot on the platform, making sure it is secure and firmly placed flat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand for added resistance. 2. Squeeze your quads in the raised leg to lift your body up and onto the platform. 3. Slowly release and lower yourself back down. This is one rep. 4. Repeat for the other leg.
5. Squat With Lateral Leg Raise
This is a great dynamic movement to hit multiple muscle groups. 1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, cleaned up to shoulder height. Perform a standard squat, lowering yourself to an inch or two above the ground. 2. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to send your torso upwards. As you’re almost standing straight again, lift up one leg to the side, squeezing your glutes, core and hip abductors. 3. Hold your leg at the top for 1-2 seconds before slowly lowering it down again. This is one rep. 4. Repeat for the other leg.
6. Bench Glute Raise
The glute raise is essentially a two legged donkey kick, adding variation to your brazilian butt lift workout. 1. Lie on your front on a bench, with your hips at the end so your feet can touch the floor whilst your legs are straight. 2. Lift your legs off the floor, keeping them bent at the knee. 3. Tense your glutes to raise both legs at once towards the sky. Squeeze at the top for 2-3 seconds. 4. Slowly lower your legs back down. This is one rep.
7. Lateral Lunge
1. Start with your feet hip width apart, place your hands on your hips. Keep your back straight and your shoulder blades pulled together. 2. Send one leg out to your side, squatting down on it whilst providing support with your stationary leg and hands. Hold for 2-3 seconds. 3. Push back off your bent leg, returning to a standing position. This is one rep. 4. Repeat on the other side.
8. Glute Bridge to Leg Raise
This variation of the glute bridge helps remove some stability whilst working your legs. 1. Perform a standard glute bridge. 2. At the top of the glute bridge, tense your hip flexors and abs, bringing one knee up until it’s directly above you. 3. Return your leg slowly back down to the ground. This is one rep. 4. Repeat with the other leg.
9. Pistol Squats
The pistol squat is the king of lower body, bodyweight exercises. It’s very difficult to master, but amazing at building leg strength and size without weights. Plus, it’s a great party trick! 1. Stand on one leg, getting you balance and making sure your weight is through your heel. Put your arms out straight in front of you, and raising your other leg so your knee is bent. Your raised leg will form a counterbalance to give you stability. 2. Really squeeze your core and the leg you’re standing on. Slowly bend the leg lowering your torso downwards. Take it slow. 3. At the lowest, your butt should be an inch or two off the ground and your other leg should be extended out straight in front of you. 4. Squeeze your leg again, slowly raising your body upwards again. This is one rep (congratulations)! 5. Repeat on the other leg.
One Leg Cable Kickback
The cable kickback similar to a glute raise, but allows you to finely control the resistance. 1. Adjust the cable machine so that it is on the bottom peg. Attach the ankle cuff to it and wrap the cuff around your ankle. 2. Place your other leg forward towards the machine, you may want to press your toes against it. Have a slight bend in this leg. 3. Place your arms against the pillar for stability. 4. Straighten your other leg and slowly move it back. If you feel this in your lower back, you’re lifting your leg too high. Squeeze your glutes at the top for 2-3 seconds. 5. Slowly lower your leg back down. This is one rep. 6. Repeat on the other side.
This post is designed to pull together as many SUPER simple sustainable living tips that you could start building into your life today. You’re unlikely to be able to do them ALL today, but you can sure make a good start.
Generally, you just need a bit of commitment to a more eco-friendly, zero-waste life.
This isn’t a check list of things you NEED to do, but more a huge collection of ideas to prompt you to think in less wasteful ways. There’s no one correct way to do this.
Pick a few that resonate and build them in. If you were to add just 2 a week, you’d have ticked off all 101 by this time next year, and be living a far lower impact life.
Every day we have a choice to make this world a little wasteful. What can you do today?
Use bar soap instead of liquid soap, it tends to come with less packaging.
Trycanning to preserve food.
Ask for no straw in your drink order when out.
Buy food without packaging or minimal packaging.
Ditch paper towels and use tea towels and rags.
Plant a small garden.
Check out your farmers market.
Swap tea bags for loose leaf tea in a reusable strainer.
Try making tooth powder to avoid unrecyclable toothpaste tubes.
Build a zero waste kit and put in the trunk of your car or carry it with you when you’ll be out so you’ll always be prepared. It doesn’t have to be large just a few items!
Make dry shampoo to stretch between washes.
Make your own deodorant.
Beware of greenwashing, always do your research.
Make homemade gifts to give to friends and family.
Eat more vegetables and legumes.
Switch from a plastic disposable razor to a metal safety razor.
Avoid receipts when out, ask if one has to be printed. Sometimes they do, but not always!
Find your local cobbler to repair tired shoes.
Line dry a load instead of using the dryer.
Vote with your dollars for a sustainable future.
Most sunscreen causes coral bleaching, go coral friendly!
Surround yourself with tools and items that are meant to last a lifetime. Try to only buy objects once.
Learn how to freeze your food without plastic so it doesn’t go to waste.
Buy more locally made goods.
Repair something when it breaks.
If you’re looking for a specialty item, like camping gear or an extra table for a party, ask a friend if you can borrow one before making a purchase.
Surround yourself with items that serve multiple purposes to streamline and cut excess junk.
Try elderberry syrup if you feel a cold coming on instead of immediately reaching for a plastic pill bottle.
Get a library card to support your local sharing economy.
Bring reusable produce bags for fruits and veggies.
Meal plan to avoid food waste.
Get rid of pests naturally.
Swap disposable pads and tampons for cloth pads or a menstrual cup.
Try to avoid palm oil.
Repurpose stale bread.
Always say no thank you to free promotional items. They tend to be cheap and break easily.
Try making your own lotion.
Look into collecting rainwater or a greywater system.
Try homemade mouthwash.
Look into tree-free TP.
Learn how to repair a button or hem to extend the life of your clothing.
Serve dinner with cloth napkins.
Wrap presents in newsprint or not at all!
Learn where to properly dispose of items like gift cards, old cell phones, batteries and unusable cords can be turned in at best buy etc.
Pick up litter when you’re out and dispose of it properly.
Ditch plastic q-tips for plastic-free or reusable.
Try Wheatless Wednesdays to cut back on intensive grain farming.
Avoid junk mail by placing a sticker on your box or going to dmachoice.org
Ask yourself if you truly need it before making any purchases.
Focus on experiences rather than things.
Ditch sponges in lieu of compostable scrubs or brushes.
Use both sides of the paper!
Keep a stocked pantry to avoid getting takeout on busy nights.
Always run a full dishwasher or load of clothes.
If it’s a 30 minute or less walk, get outside instead of driving.
Ditch plastic shower loofahs for a real loofah or a bamboo bath brush.
Reduce your meat consumption. If you’re not ready to go vegetarian start small: try Meatless Monday, weekday vegetarian, or even weekday vegan.
Try your hand at an easy all-purpose cleaning spray.
Find your local tailor to help with clothing repairs.
Join a community garden.
Go paperless for all your bills!
Make your morning cup of coffee with a french press or pour over with a reusable filter to avoid extra waste.
Ask for no plastic and reused packaging materials for online orders.
Start a backyard compost.
Unplug electronics when not in use.
Try cloth diapering.
Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush.
Donate unused items in good condition to support the second-hand market.
Ditch tissues for handkerchiefs.
Turn old sheets and towels into handkerchiefs, rags, napkins, and cloth produce bags.
Wash clothes when they are actually dirty, instead of after only one wear.
Commit to bringing your reusable bags to the store. If you don’t have them, turn around and go get them! After forgetting them once, you won’t do it again.
Instead of buying something when you’re having a bad day, do something. I.e. go on a walk, take a yoga class, meet up with a friend.
Change light bulbs to LEDs.
Don’t buy anything impulsively!
Be mindful when using technology.
Put on a sweater and socks before turning up the heat.
Get some houseplants at a local nursery to purify your air, don’t forget to return the little plastic pots!
Swap little plastic chapstick tubes for DIY lip balm.
Know where everything you buy comes from whether it be food, clothing, or other household goods
Pack your lunch instead of eating out every day.
Bring your own container for to-go food and leftovers.
Bring your own to-go cup when getting coffee on the run.
Store your food properly to make it last longer.
Learn to regrow kitchen scraps.
Ask for a real mug at the coffee shop when staying in.
Open a window to cool down your home or air it out.
Think second-hand first when purchasing something.
Pick up a lonely banana.
Don’t leave your house without a full reusable water bottle.
Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
Make your own face mask from stuff in your pantry.
Make your own febreze spray to freshen your room for pennies!
Look into rechargeable batteries instead of disposables.
Keep a bucket in the shower to water plants or flush the toilet.
Swap cotton rounds for reusable rounds.
Wash your clothes in cold water when you can.
Swap don’t shop! Host a clothing swap with friends.
Try to shrink the amount you recycle. Zero waste is about recycling less not more.
A plant-based entrepreneur has spoken out about how being plant-based – and ditching alcohol – transformed her life.
Athena Simpson, a business and marketing optimizer, speaker, writer, and aspiring aerial artist, says she was an ‘unhappy, unhealthy, workaholic’.
While following a plant-based diet, she ditched alcohol, and says she has transformed into a healthy, happy, strong, thriving nomadic entrepreneur.
“Everyone asks me how I lost weight,” Simpson told Plant Based News. “I feel like I cheated since it was so easy for me. I tried a no alcohol challenge to give myself a fresh start to 2019 and I had no idea how life-changing it would be. I was already vegan so I didn’t do anything to change my diet, in fact, I explicitly chose not to put any pressure on myself to change the way I ate.
“I didn’t lose anything for the first six weeks, and then it started melting off. Seven or eight months later, I had lost three jean sizes (44lbs/20kg), gained confidence and loved looking at myself in the mirror but more importantly, was so impressed by what my body was capable of.”
She says a plant-based diet and alcohol-free lifestyle has made her stronger than ever (Photo: Supplied to Plant Based News) She says a plant-based diet and alcohol-free lifestyle has made her stronger than ever (Photo: Supplied to Plant Based News)
As a result of eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and not drinking alcohol, Simpson found she had an excess of energy – which inspired her to get more active. She believes her plant-based diet has helped with recovery when it comes to physical exercise.
“I got into aerial silks and did that about three times a week,” she said. “I started walking to the train instead of taking the bus and doing a bit of yoga here and there. I didn’t care about losing weight, I wanted to get strong. Silks are one of the most physically demanding activities I’ve ever done, and starting at the age of 35 was certainly a challenge.
“I was never ‘strong’ growing up and now I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life. I think having a vegan diet helped me get stronger faster. Since going vegan four and a half years ago I noticed my recovery time was quicker, aches and pains were less because of reduced inflammation and I felt an overall improvement in my health.
“I would rarely get sick and when I did it was usually gone in a few days. I hadn’t even registered with a GP in almost four years. So when I removed booze, it was like I became a superhuman.”
According to Simpson, people are often surprised by the volume of food she eats. When she first ditched alcohol and started to exercise, her appetite reduced, but she soon realized she wasn’t eating enough to maintain her increased activity level.
“I never craved sugar before but a few months into not drinking anymore and I started craving sugar (this usually happens at the beginning of the detox period),” she said. “I came to realize is that I wasn’t eating enough calories for the amount of increased exercise I was doing. So I started eating more calorie-dense meals and the cravings stopped and my appetite came back.
“When people see how much I eat they can’t really believe that I’ve managed to lose weight. If I didn’t exercise I don’t think I’d be this hungry but being alcohol-free and plant-based means I can pretty much eat whatever I want and keep the weight off.
“I don’t eat tons of processed vegan junk food, but when I want some I don’t stop myself. I see a lot of people giving up booze and frustrated they aren’t losing weight, the difference between them and me is usually a plant-based diet.”